Commonwealth Games: Cyclist thrown out by team

AUSTRALIA'S DEEPLY divided cycling team was torn apart yesterday when the world champion Lucy Tyler-Sharman was kicked out of the Games for criticising her coach.

The Chef de mission, Don Stockins, acted swiftly to expel Tyler-Sharman, who was one of three leading riders in conflict with head coach Charlie Walsh's methods.

She accused team officials of sabotaging her bike after both feet came out of the pedals during her semi-final on Thursday night.

The latest drama cost Tyler-Sharman, a former American rider who moved to Australia in 1991, her chance to ride for bronze in yesterday's finals.

"Yesterday, Lucy made a public statement criticising cycling section management and coaching staff, which is a clear violation of the team agreement signed by all athletes prior to them joining the team," Stockins said.

England claimed three gold and three silver medals in the 85-kilogram weightlifting division. Leon Griffin won two golds in the overall and clean and jerk sections and silver in the snatch. Stephen Ward had the snatch gold and silver in the other two sections.

Scotland's Margaret Letham and Joyce Lindores comfortably retained the women's pairs lawn bowls title, beating Namibia 31-8.

There was controversy in the boxing ring when Gary Jones, the English light-flyweight, went down 15-11 to local fighter Sapok Biki in their semi-final.

"I thought I won it and at the end of the day I've been robbed of a gold medal," Jones said. "He was nowhere near as good as me."

England's super-heavyweight Audley Harrison knocked out Australia's Justin Whitehead in the third round and faces Michael Macaque, of Mauritius, for the title.

Australia, the red-hot favourites, led three other seeded teams into the semi-finals of the netball tournament. The seven-time world champions, on target for the first-ever netball gold medal in the Games, remained unbeaten with a 66-29 drubbing of England.

The Australians play South Africa in today's semi-finals while New Zealand, ranked third in the world, play England.

South Africa have protested against the right of the Canadian gold medal winner Metodi Igorov to compete for the country in the shooting competition.

The South African protest said Igorov should be stripped of the gold he won in the men's individual rapid fire pistol and be replaced as winner by South Africa's silver medallist Allan McDonald. The complaint is that Bulgarian-born Igorov had not fulfilled residency rules to qualify as a Canadian even though he has a passport.